In recent years we have heard more and more that nurses feel they spend less time with their patients. When it comes to Heather, she always prioritizes time to spend with her patients and their families. She is an active listener and works to empower the patient and their family. Heather is one of the best patient advocates with whom I have had the experience to work with. She is compassionate and dedicated to ensuring that everyone does their best for her patients each and every day. She has been mentioned on numerous surveys for her care and empathy. Two recent scenarios that exemplify her commitment and compassion stand out in my mind.
The first, was a traumatic code of a patient that was under her care for the days prior to the arrest. As the arrest happened suddenly, the wife was in despair and a state of shock. As time passed and the code continued, Heather approached the wife, with whom she had created rapport and discussed what was happening, the interventions that had been performed and reassured the wife that whatever decision she makes she should do it for her husband. With that, the wife decided to end the code and let her husband pass. Heather truly made a difference in this family’s life and could help support them at their most difficult time. The patient’s wife later sent a beautiful letter addressing Heather by name as one of the exceptional RNs that cared for her husband.
The second, involved outstanding nursing skills and clinical judgment. Heather was challenged by a newly created process change that limited her ability to get certain testing performed for her patient. She took the initiative to discuss this with many individuals in the interdisciplinary team and leadership team. Over 2 days of discussions and phone conversations, Heather was able to get the lab work performed. The result would change the course of treatment for her patient. At that time that the results were discovered, Heather approached the interdisciplinary team, including consultant physicians and using her astute critical thinking skills, suggested various interventions/consults that could be utilized to help determine the next course of action. In this case, I truly believe Heather made a significant difference in the progression of care for her patient and in ensuring best practice.
If you ask Heather about how she interacts with families she says that it’s not an engagement that is rehearsed or scripted, it comes to her in the moment and somehow she is able to connect with them. She has been noted by her peers as being exceptional in this way.